Designation of the Notre-Dame Roman Catholic Cathedral
QUÉBEC, May 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Member of Parliament for Roberval-Lac-St-Jean and Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, unveiled a plaque from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada earlier today, commemorating the national historical significance of the Notre-Dame Roman Catholic Cathedral of Québec and its architectural value. A special ceremony was organized in the city of Québec, in the presence of members of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and of the Diocese of Quebec.
A handsome stone building overlooking the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, Notre-Dame Cathedral National stands in the heart of the historic district of Old Québec. First built during the French Regime in 1647, it became the first parish church of the colony of New France in 1664. When Laval became the first Bishop of Quebec in 1674, the building was "entrenched" as a cathedral and was then enlarged.
Destroyed during the Siège of Québec in 1759, the cathedral was reconstructed from 1766 to 1771 according to plans by Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry from 1743. The exception was the bell-tower designed by Jean Baillairgé who also supervised the works. In 1843-1844 Architect Thomas Baillairgé designed the remarkable neoclassical façade. The innovative interior, which was to be influential in church architecture within Québec, was designed by François Baillairgé.
The present Cathedral is the product of many reconstructions, the last in 1922, which restored it to its mid-19th century appearance. Several well-known architects contributed to the exterior and interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
- Notre-Dame Roman Catholic Cathedral is the only parish church until 1829.
- Set under a copper roof, Notre-Dame features a richly detailed neoclassical facade flanked by two towers of different age and design.
- Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include stained-glass windows created by the Meyer House in Munich and the Champigneulles House in Paris that depict scenes of the life of the Virgin Mary and saints, and three Casavant organs.
- Notre-Dame was influential in Québec church architecture and remains an important focus of Roman Catholic life in the city.
"Our Government is proud to unveil this plaque commemorating the national historic significance of the Notre-Dame Roman Catholic Cathedral of Québec and its architectural value. The Cathedral is a central element of Roman Catholic life in the city of Québec. A place of communion, meeting and sharing, the church is the reflection of the community members who gather there. It is a welcoming place for the thousands of pilgrims who, by means of their personal journey, contribute to the promotion and preservation of this precious heritage."
The Honourable Denis Lebel, Member of Parliament for Roberval-Lac-St-Jean and Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
"Twice destroyed, twice rebuilt, this cathedral is a vibrant illustration of the vivacity and the solidarity of the Catholics of the city of Québec. This place still brings together a lively community of faith and it is for us an honour to see its importance highlighted as it is today."
Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec City
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/clmhc-hsmbc/index.aspx
Parish of Notre-Dame de Québec: http://notredamedequebec.org/en/feasts-of-the-350th
For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.
SOURCE: Parks Canada
For further information:
Public Relations and Communication Officer
Québec Field Unit